Some home improvements can make a house safer for seniors

Feb 23 2011

Bright bathrooms with safety features help seniors live safely in their homes.
Bright bathrooms with safety features help seniors live safely in their homes.
A few home improvements can make a house safe for seniors who want to continue living in their own homes as they get older.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, handheld showerheads and lever-handle faucets are easier to use at any age and grab bars are easily installed as long as the tub walls have adequate structural support. If the budget allows, installing a separate shower with a low-threshold entry and a shower bench is another safety measure for elderly homeowners.

"If our homes are designed with these principals in place, they are adaptable," interior designer Jeanette Knudsen, who owns Design for a Life Span in Mesa, Arizona.

Knudsen also recommended a very quick fix – using brighter lightbulbs and adding new lights to dark areas of the home to achieve visibility in all quarters.

Another light-brightening move in a home is the right choice of window treatments to bring in as much light as possible during the day. Horizontal fabric shades are a good choice because they have the look of a window shade, but the individual slats are reminiscent of a venetian blind. Daylight can be managed by controlling the angle of the slats, which can be closed for privacy at night.
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